India, 21 October 2016: In India, Startups have common challenges of addressing the non-tech skills such as branding, marketing, go-to-market, public relations et al. Thus many a Startups end up being just a good idea or a concept or a product and they are not able to do a commercial launch and, they are certainly not able to scale up. While Pune is replete with the Spirit of Entrepreneurship that have young minds – as young as 20 year olds – who are aspiring to become Unicorns, they still don’t know where to look when it comes to hand-holding, branding and its execution.
Individual constituents of a typical Startup eco-system have tried dealing with the above challenge in silos. For instance, the investor community comprising Angels, Venture Capitalists and Private Equity players have been doing their bit to hand hold Startups and help them succeed. Likewise, there are adviser and mentors who provide consultancy to Startups. And then there are advertising agencies that make creatives and advertisements on case-to-case basis. But there is no one in India who is willing to take ownership of creation of the eco-system under one roof.
Brand Launch Center (BLC) under the aegis of Seagull Advertising, announced the launch of first-of-its-kind Startup Launch Accelerator to help consumer focused Startups to go-to-market like any MNC, through a well-structured process called Wings for Profit. BLC’s expertise is designed to mitigate the risks that are commonly faced by Startups at the launch stage. The launch Accelerator offers a high intensity, hands-on, six months program to reduce product risk, technology risk, market risk and financial risk.
Speaking about the need to brand-building for start-ups, Sameer Desai, marketing veteran and Chief Strategy Officer of Brand Launch Centre, said: “While working extensively with early-stage companies in the past few years, we have realized that most start-ups fail despite innovative ideas and products. They fail not because of the product/service, but because of their inability to create a strong brand image among target consumers and the absence of go-to-market strategy and execution. Brand-building and go-to-market is a major challenge for the bootstrapped Startups, whose marketing budgets and knowledge of execution are often constrained. BLC provides a 360-degree strategy to start-ups to overcome their brand-building challenges, that too in 180 days.”
He added: “BLC’s Launch Accelerator program is broadly classified into 3 key segments, namely, Brand Challenge, Brand Wings and Brand Flight Map.
The Startup Accelerator program that will provide solutions ranging from mentoring, branding, working capital, advertising, digital marketing, on-ground-activations, public relations and funding, sales, marketing automation, HR, corporate finance, legal and co-working. The Startup Acceleration program is aimed at consumer-focused Startups that believe in going for a commercial launch of their product or service and achieving greater sales and marketing muscle power in a specific time frame of 180 days.
BLC’s Startup Accelerator program was launched on 20th October at Pune’s iconic JW Marriott Hotel. Dr. S.B. Mujumdar, Founder & Member of Symbiosis Society, Ms. Chandni Jafri, CEO, Mumbai Angel Network were some of the distinguished speakers at the event.
Recently launched Tork, India’s 1st Electric Motorbike, has been one of the early Startups that came on board BLC. Premanand Risbud, CFO, Tork Motorcycles says: “BLC has well understood our requirements and has delivered us a fantastic brand positioning”. Tork is high on technology and sports a TFT screen – a first for any Indian bike. It offers a number of innovative benefits such as low noise, zero pollution, exceptional acceleration and remote trouble shooting facility through a cloud based solution.
Green Salute is another Startup that leveraged BLC’s offerings. The idea of branding waterless car wash services as Green Salute and taking it to the customer was undertaken by BLC. Ninad Dhok & Akshay Dhok, CoFounders – Green Salute said: “It’s absolutely fantastic the way that our brand has been presented. It cannot get better, and the market has received this extremely well.”
Neeraj Kansal, Founder – Tokri.com said: “BLC had a very clear vision for executing the branding plan. Their idea of sabse bada rupaiya was a great success. Today, even after a year people still talk about this great idea.” Tokri.com is an e-commerce business in the hyper local grocery segment. The portal offers doorstep delivery of a wide variety of food items including the freshest flowers, fruits and vegetables.
Parag Shah, Entrepreneurship Mentor said, “A lot of Startups in India have entered the industry either unearthing an entirely new market or through gaps in existing markets or product lines. Pune has been a progressive town with a large population of youngsters/student community who are now reshaping / re-writing the rules of business. While Pune offers great ecosystem for Startups, what was lacking so far was a under-one-roof eco-system that would help start-ups in their go-to-market strategies. We are happy that BLC fills this crucial gap.”
Mr. Mandar Jayawant, Founder, Mongol Fund (Mongolia’s first ever equity fund); Global Equity Veteran, said: “In an extremely competitive market, it is not easy to survive for all Startups. While a few succeed, a number of young individuals fail to convert their great ideas into viable and sustainable businesses due to lack of one or several components of the Startup ecosystem. While identifying promising Startups for funding, among other things, we put a significant weightage on their go-to-market strategy – whether it is realistic and achievable. We are happy that BLC’s services will be available to the entrepreneurs in the city of Pune and we are looking forward to the next Unicorn from Pune.”
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